Four Steps to Protecting Your Rights after a Commercial Truck Crash
Collisions involving commercial trucks like 18-wheelers, tanker trucks, and other large vehicles can be devastating – especially for innocent victims in smaller passenger vehicles. In many cases, victims are left with injuries that will profoundly affect them for months or years. In fact, in the most serious crashes, victims may never fully recover from their injuries and develop long-term disabilities that prevent them from earning a living or even living without around-the-clock assistance.
Thankfully, when commercial truck wrecks are caused by the negligence of truck drivers, trucking companies, or others, victims are entitled to compensation under both Minnesota and North Dakota law. Compensation does not come automatically, however, no matter how cut and dry a case may seem, and victims need to take certain steps to protect their rights. Here are four of the most important.
Collect as Much Information as You Can
If you are able to stay at the scene of the crash, collect as much information as possible about the people and vehicles involved in the incident as well as the circumstances under which the collision took place. Examples of the things to make note of include:
- The names of the other drivers involved
- The company responsible for operating the truck
- The weather conditions at the time of the crash
- Whether the truck driver seemed fatigued or disoriented
- Contact information from anyone that may have witnessed the collision
Take pictures of the aftermath of the collision, taking special care to highlight damage to your vehicle and any issues with the other vehicles that may have contributed to the wreck.
Seek Medical Attention
You should always seek medical attention after a crash involving a commercial truck. This is true even if you do not believe your injuries are severe enough to warrant medical attention or that they will get better on their own. First of all, the severity of some injuries may not be apparent until days or even weeks after the crash, and it’s critical that you start treatment as soon as possible. Secondly, it’s important to keep in mind that the trucking company’s insurance company (or any insurance company, for that matter) is going to want to see documentation connecting your injuries to the crash and regarding their severity before paying out. In fact, a lack of official medical documentation can make obtaining compensation much more difficult than it would be if you had seen a doctor.
Keep Notes about Your Recovery
It’s also important to keep detailed notes about how your injuries are affecting you on a daily basis. Document issues like pain, trouble sleeping, flashbacks, feelings of depression and/or anxiety, and difficulty performing everyday tasks. In addition, keep notes on how your injuries are impacting your ability to do things like attend social functions, exercise, spend time with family, or things you enjoyed prior to the crash.
Contact an Attorney as Soon as You Can
Finally, you should call an attorney as soon as possible after a crash involving a large commercial truck. Truckers, trucking companies, and the companies that insure them are ready to do everything they can to limit their liability and will not hesitate to take advantage of victims who don’t know their rights. In addition, if you wait to start your claim, it can result in the loss or destruction of evidence that is vital to the success of your case. For these reasons, it’s imperative that you call an attorney as soon as you can.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Fargo Truck Crash Attorney
If you have been injured in a crash involving a commercial truck in the Fargo-Moorhead area, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can. O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss’s experienced personal injury lawyers Tatum O’Brien, Tim O’Keeffe, and Sara Monson are committed to helping injured victims recover the compensation to which they are legally entitled. Their team will review the facts of your case at no cost to you. Email our lawyers through the links provided above or call our office today at 701-235-8000 or toll-free 877-235-8002.